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What recourse do I have?? Arizona

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  • What recourse do I have?? Arizona

    I was employed by a medical billing company for about 3 months when one of the clients, "Dr. K", asked me about becoming the practice administrator for her new practice. At that time, she didnt even have an office open so we decided to wait and discuss it further once her office was up and running.

    Less than 2 weeks after that conversation, I was let go from the billing service. I called Dr. K to let her know that I would no longer be working on her business, and her response was "then it looks like you will need to come to work for me sooner than we thought." At that point I agreed to help her complete all the tasks she needed to get done to get her practice open. She said she was getting very close to that point, and with my help, estimated that she would be seeing patients in the office within a month.

    She let me know a few days later that there was a clause in her contract with the billing company that stated she could not employ any employee of the billing service for a period of a year. The penalty for that could possibly be the emplyee's wages for a year. The contract did not state anything abouut whether that applied to terminated employees or not. Just to be safe, Dr. K was advised by her attorney to find an employee leasing company.

    I agreed to help Dr. K on an "as needed" basis for an hourly rate. I did that for almost 3 months, and the opening of the office kept getting pushed back. I could no longer afford to work part time, so I sent her an email letting her know that as much as I wanted to continue to help her, I couldnt afford to. I had given her the time sheet with the last hours I had worked 4 days prior to sending the resignation email.

    It has now been almost 2 weeks, and I have yet to be paid for those hours. Do I have any recourse other than small claims court to collect the money she owes me? I do know that there is some sort of rule in Arizona that allows an employee to collect up to 3 times the amount owed if payment is not made within a certain time frame. Would any rule like that apply to my situation?

    Thank you for any help or advice!

  • #2
    When an employee in Az. resigns, wages should be paid in the usual manner no later than the regular payday for the period during which the resignation occurred.

    wage claim -
    If your employer fails to pay your wages, you may either file a complaint with the Industrial Commission of Arizona or you can file a complaint in court. If you file a claim in court, then you can ask for treble damages, which is up to three times the amount of wages owed, but the judge decides whether you will receive the treble damages. (ARS 23-355). You cannot be awarded treble damages by the Industrial Commission of Arizona, but it may take less time, depending on the court you choose.

    Additional info in link:
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